BEAUTY OP-ED | Iris Apfel + MAC + Bill Cunningham New York + Things that are things

 If you're a writer, you're always looking for repetition, for snippets and tidbits to prove they're a thing. I need something to show itself to me a few times before I think it's a thing and believe it's worth writing about.

This thing I have now is definitely a thing. Mind you, I do live under a rock in Chicago in near-complete solitary confinement for most of my waking hours, so there's a (very good) chance this thing has been a thing for an age and only just arriving under my rock right now, very late. In fact I know it's been a thing but the people who are a part of this thing are having a bit of a thing renaissance after not being so thingy for a while.

In any event, it's a stylish, beautiful, fascinating thing to me all the same and I'm glad to share.

And this is how haphazardly things are noticed...

I was deleting hundreds of emails and newsletters -- unread -- I get daily. I decided to open one on a whim -- Refinery29's The 10 Best Fashion Films on Netflix Instant Right Now. The only movie on the list that piqued my interested was Bill Cunningham New York. Bill Cunningham is brilliant and enigmatic and sweet. All I knew of him before (as it seems is the case with everyone) were his weekly photographs for the New York Times. He loves stylish women. Non-cookie cutter women. 

One of his regular subjects is Iris Apfel. She shows up many times in the documentary.

Irish Apfel then happened to appear in my inbox from a PR re-emailing me about the Iris Apfel-MAC collaboration launching this month.

Irish Apfel also did a stellar interview I remember and just un-earthed again with The Telegraph (and Into The Gloss) in October.

Boom. A thing.

Iris is a long-time fashion figure and lady about town in her native New York. She and her late husband had a textile firm. Her glasses are iconic. Her accessories numerous. Her lipstick red. Bill is the original street style photographer, shooting and commentating The New York Times's spread On The Street. Anna Wintour says of him, revealing just how important a role he plays in fashion, "we all get dressed for Bill."

Sure, Iris's drift into the mainstream limelight has been steady over the last two years (HSN... Yoox... Coach...), but I think this January it'll reach its apex. Bill's been thrust into center stage to those of us who exist outside the hardcore fashion realm over the last two years too.

So my thing is this: Iris and Bill and all of their projects -- and projects on them -- coming to fruition. But mostly Iris having a renaissance of sorts. And Bill becoming accessible to more than those in fashion or with a subscription to the New York Times (who did this piece on her over the summer). They might have always been a thing in certain circles, certainly in Manhattan, but I think this is the first time they've been a thing to us, the unwashed masses!

"Those who see beauty will find it." - Bill Cunningham

Iris Apfel on bad style (via Fashionista):  
“It’s a free country – if you want to look like a freak, that’s your problem.”